GSU students to honor senior found dead - KNOE 8 News; KNOE-TV; KNOE.com |

GSU students to honor senior found dead

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Source: GSU Source: GSU

GRAMBLING, La. (KNOE 8 News) - Grambling State University students will host a celebration of the life of Alexandria Shelton, the 21-year-old senior found dead in Girard Park near the University of Louisiana at Lafayette's campus.

The Lafayette Parish Coroner's Office ruled the death an accidental drowning, ruling out homicide and foul play.

The 11 a.m. program honoring Shelton will be held between the Barnes & Noble bookstore and the Tiger Express fast food court on "The Yard" near the electronic board. "We've lost a Gramblinite, and it hurts," said Grambling State University President Frank G. Pogue. "We're proud of the way our caring, deeply loving students stepped forward with ideas to do something special to remember our own Alex."

The short program is being hosted by students affiliated with the Student Government Association, Favrot Student Union board, criminal justice majors and the Tiger Ambassadors, a group that takes visitors on tours of the university campus. There will also be a balloon release after the candlelight vigil. The public is invited to attend and is welcomed to offer kind words on Shelton's behalf.

GSU President Frank G. Pogue, a faculty member and several students will speak before 50 black and gold balloons are released. Close friend and off-campus roommate La'Tigre Stokes has been heartbroken and plans to compose herself enough to say a few words. One of the students scheduled to talk, Ninfa Saavedra, said she plans to share her moments of friendship with Shelton as a tiger ambassador. "As a part of our ambassador family, Alex's sudden death has taken us all by shock," said Saavedra, 21, a mass communication major from Texas. "We had to show we cared."

Shelton, an honors student with a 3.5 GPA, was to receive her criminal justice degree at GSU's commencement on May 9. Grambling State University is filling out paperwork to get approval from the University of Louisiana System to present her family with a degree posthumously.

Shelton is survived by her father, Norville Shelton, and her mother, the former Lucretia Alex; two brothers, Phillip Shelton and Justin Alex and three sisters, Tameka Joseph, Valerie Shelton and Victoria Shelton. All are from Lafayette.

According to Shelton's family, a visitation will be held Tuesday (April 22) at Melancon Funeral Home in Carencro, La. from 10 a.m.-12:30 pm. with a rosary at 11:30 a.m. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held Tuesday (April 22) at Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church in Lafayette, La., at 1 p.m. Dean of Students David Ponton plans to attend the Tuesday visitation and mass to represent GSU.

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